Introducing Art and Creativity
While traveling on the east side of the Delta, I attended two school openings with donors and visited a school built by HTBD three years ago. I learned that the government school administrators in this district are not nearly as proactive as the administrators for Htan Kyun (EE’s school). As an example, Htan Kyun has already been allocated 5 teachers even though it hasn’t yet officially received its certification. In comparison, one of these schools is temporarily being taught by a local farmer with a 10th grade education, and the other has been allocated only one teacher. As quality education is EE’s goal for Htan Kyun, we’re fortunate to have supportive administrators willing to step outside their box a bit. During these school visits, two of my fellow donors (Martin, a German artist and Tomasina, a graphic designer from Cyprus) conducted interactive art classes for the students. The introduction of art – especially creative, free-form art, was a new experience for these children. Many weren’t even sure at first what to do with the crayons, and were obviously unnerved by the freedom to draw as they wanted. Watching their faces and joy as they caught on and started having fun was pure delight. Parents were equally delighted to celebrate their children’s creative accomplishments. This is an educational culture where children are taught to obey, memorize facts, and parrot back what they’ve heard. The simple use of art as an alternative methodology emphasizing creativity and exploration was extremely successful - and FUN.